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On Sundays in England churchgoers choose to worship at the nearest parish church to where they live this is known as the ‘daughter church’.
However, in the past it was considered important for people to return to their home or ‘mother’ church once a year- the main church in the area where they were brought up and generally where their parents still lived. So each year in the middle of Lent, children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their ‘mother’ church and as a result this became an occasion for family reunions hence Mothering Sunday was born.
As they walked along the country lanes, children would pick wild flowers or violets to take to church or give to their mother as a small gift.
Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday because the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed that day.
The food most associated with Mothering Sunday is the Simnel Cake.
Young girls in service would make one to take home to their mothers on their day off probably as a treat for Easter with the symbolism of the apostle marzipan balls. You can treat your mother (our yourself) to one of our lovely Simnel cakes here. Our cakes come in a presentation box tied with red ribbon for a perfect present or pure indulgence.
A Simnel cake is a fruit cake with two layers of marzipan or almond paste, one in the middle and one on top which is toasted. The cake has 11 balls of marzipan icing on top representing the 11 disciples. (Judas is not included.) This tradition developed late in the Victorian era, prior to this the cakes were decorated with preserved fruits and sugar violets.
Where did the Simnel Cake get its name?
It is thought that the name Simnel comes from the Latin word simila which means a fine flour usually used for baking a cake.
We hope you have a lovely Mothers Day celebration